Our beautiful city offers a tremendous amount of resources to our homeless community, but many organizations are working alone. Hector sees this as an opportunity to bring our community together to provide food, shelter, and work- and life-skill training to our homeless community. However, it is important that we see our homeless citizens as people and not a blight on the community.

A homeless outreach resource team consisting of nurses, social workers, and counselors will be required for real change and preventative health. A day center where homeless individuals can receive their medication, lock up their belongings while looking for work during the day, charge their phones, and check with various social services and job training programs.

The homelessness issue is multi-faceted, of course, and requires initiative on many fronts. Unfortunately, there are also homeless individuals who have mental and behavioral issues. These must be addressed with a mental health officer accompanying our Lodi Police Department’s Homelessness Liaison Officer. Mental health has been ignored for far too long, and it’s time we address it!

Those who do not wish to return to living in homes must be provided with sanitation facilities to prevent public health issues from arising in the future. To prevent an increase in our homeless population, it is important to make all individuals aware of our current organizations and support tools, such as our ability to offer bus fare if a homeless individual can connect with a family member and find a place to stay. A resource guide should be created both for property owners and homeless individuals. Hector has the tech and English skills to do this himself if necessary. Unfortunately, since most homeless services come from the county, many programs are located in Stockton. Funding is limited, but the goal should be necessary alongside criminal justice reform.

Additionally, we must remain vigilant during the Coronavirus pandemic. If an outbreak occurs within the homeless community, the city must work with the county to ensure we have private beds and bathrooms during their necessary quarantine period.